Labuschagne’s 93 not out sends a message to franchises
London: Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne, who was ignored at the Indian Premier League (IPL) mini-auction this year, turned up the heat in England’s T20 Blast competition scoring a career-best unbeaten 93 although his knock could not steer Glamorgan to victory over Gloucestershire.
Labuschagne’s good performance in T20 Blast could pave the way for him to make it to The Hundred competition as a replacement in Southern Brave franchise for either David Warner or Marcus Stoinis, who have pulled out of the tournament.
Labuschagne hit 10 fours and two sixes in his 56-ball innings, but Glamorgan were short by four runs, making 175/9 in 20 overs as against 179/6 by Gloucestershire.
Walking in to bat with the score on 31 for one, Labuschagne stood his ground even as a couple of wickets fell with Glamorgan struggling at 41 for three in 5.2 overs.
He, however, single-handedly took his side close to the total as only wicketkeeper-batsman Chris Cooke could star with a 21-ball 26.
“I am still thinking about where I could have found those extra five runs and taken the game on a little bit more,” Labuschagne told BBC Sport Wales.
“I am evaluating that so I know when I am in that situation again I can get us over the line. Pleasing to get some runs but disappointing not to get us over the line,” he added.
“I never doubted I could get a fifty in T20 cricket but for me it is about winning games with Glamorgan, Australia or Queensland.
“Early on my strokes were not too different (to longer formats) but through the middle of the innings it looks a lot different in terms of targeting the right areas, it is a new and exciting challenge,” he said further.
The South Africa-born Labuschagne is ranked No. 3 in ICC Test rankings for batsmen but his performances in limited-overs cricket have not been of the highest level and that has not attracted the IPL or The Hundred franchises. His current form may force a change in thinking and earn him a contract.